A Word for the Week
Much prayer, time and effort has been put into the framework of ministry here at First over the past few months. Wednesday's have become the most strategic outreach opportunity we currently have as a collective body. Youth and children are coming in good numbers and parents are beginning to do more than bring them--they're joining them. Many adults are joining the work, as well.
Sunday evenings are centered on the biblical disciplines of prayer, discipleship & outreach.
The framework is in place for fruitful ministry and yet framework without the filling of the Holy Spirit is little more than a skeleton without muscle and tissue, not to mention, the all important breath of life.
God desires that the body of Christ come together under the Lordship of Jesus and work together under the direction of the Spirit of God who fills us with the breath of life! (And in speaking of the body, I speak specifically of the redeemed of God, those who are born again, NOT the 50% or so who settle for thinking they're saved because their name is registered as a church member in a book somewhere)
Ezekiel 37:5 says--"Thus says the Lord God to these bones; 'Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live'." It is God's presence in the body that causes the framework of God's divine design to function and fulfill His purpose.
In the context, God is speaking concerning the nation of Israel's miraculous restoration. In similar ways, the church needs resuscitating today, as well because many in the body appear to have gone on the life support of what the world offers to provide.
A church body can easily settle for framework without 'the filling' that makes it function. In that scenario, you have the appearance of grand possibilities without the appropriation of power necessary to make it a reality.
The life every functioning body depends on for fruitful ministry is the presence of God that provides the power necessary to move and minister effectively.
Without God--the best framework functions like a zombie at best but in all reality, it remains a corpse.
The power every church body needs can only supplied through prayer. It is to the spiritual what breath is to the physical.
The redeemed of God cannot live apart from personal prayer. Church members may but not Christ followers. Prayer helps direct me in being separate from sin. Prayer helps discipline me in being a servant of Jesus.
Prayer causes me to delight in being one with my Lord and Savior.
I encourage each of you this Wednesday to evaluate how much time your spending in life sustaining prayer. That will tell you how alive you really are. It will tell you whether you're a corpse or a Christ follower.
Time to move on from the life support of something or someone else breathing for you and begin to breathe in the life that God alone supplies and sustains through personal prayer.
Oh, by the way, 'pulling the tube' of the world's assisted life support may leave you somewhat irritated and uncomfortable for a few days but what God provides will fill you and you will find what He does in you well worth it!
Richest blessings on all who deny self and follow Him this week! Matt. 16:24
1 Corinthians 15:58